From spatial symbols to Euclidean intuitions

TitleFrom spatial symbols to Euclidean intuitions
Publication TypeConference Poster
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDillon, MR, Spelke, ES
Conference NameCognitive Development Society (CDS)
NumberID: 316 / PS - I: 50
Date Published10/2015
Place PublishedColumbus, OH

Euclidean  geometry  is  highly  intuitive  to  adults  from  diverse  cultures,  but  the  sources  of  these  intuitions  remain  unknown.  The  present study investigates whether children’s understanding of Euclidean geometry is linked to their use of spatial symbols.  Six - ,  10,  and  12 - year - old  children  were  given  tests  of  navigation  by  purely  geometric  maps, which  required  them  to  place  objects  in  fragmented  3D  environments  using  2D  maps  highlighting  the  same  or  different  geometric  information  as  the  3D  environments.  Children  also  completed  a  test  of  abstract  geometric  reasoning  focused  on  triangle  completion .  Performance  on  the  geometric  reasoning  test  improved  markedly  with  age,  and  this  improvement  was  associated  with  more  integrated  interpretations  of  the  geometric  maps  and  environments.  These  findings  connect  the  achievement  of  Euclidean  intuitions  to  the mastery  of  spatial  symbols.

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